Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20


Friday, February 5, 2010

finances

This week we had : Checking in -

Yummy food - (*recipe for the trifle at end of post)

Beautiful decorations -

Lots of friends and fellowship -



This month there was a panel discussion about finances -

put on by some very wise women.

They have been through Crown Ministries or Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace classes and help lead them now. They had many, many wise things to say. I liked how they mention giving children "commission" instead of allowances. They have to work for their money. And teaching them to put money into savings, tithings and spending categories. We did that for our kids and I think they are all pretty sound financially and know the value of money.

Al and I used to be real poor. We got married young. Like just turning 20. Neither of our parents had lots of money. Al grew up on a farm and his dad had to work 2 jobs to help feed his family with 6 children. My parents were missionaries and then had a pastorate. You know that isn't bringing in lots of money. Although I never knew it. We traveled a lot and in the old days only wealthy people traveled. People were so good to us, bringing us lots of food - mikans, nashi and omochi in Japan and in America the congregation would give us cream, milk, eggs and lots of meat. So, if we didn't have money, I didn't know it.

When we married, Al was in pharmacy school. I worked at KU and brought home $400 a month as a secretary. We got by fine. Our rent the first year was $80 (we lived on campus - married student housing with an orange plastic sofa!) and went up to $100 later. Then we had Josh. We thought we were done with school, but Al went on for his masters. I stayed home; Al really couldn't work with his studies. One year he did bring home $86! Of course we were audited but they found out that was really the case. We lived off borrowed money and love. We wore clothes purchased at garage sales (and our old clothes from high school days) and I washed cloth diapers; we used the WIC program. God always provided. Sometimes it was a sack of groceries on the porch; or someone would give us clothes for Josh. We prayed about needs. During those years, God taught us to tithe, even if it seemed like we didn't have any $$ to give. We never went without our needs being met. Maybe our wants. Ok, a lot of times our wants. But I learned that that wasn't what was important.


Well, those days are gone. Al makes a good living for us. I don't know a lot about money. Numbers don't compute in my head. Truly. Al makes the money; I spend it! Ha! I do stick to the budget. Mostly. I don't consider myself a shop-o-holic. I do enjoy buying things for the kids; and for the church nursery. Al is really smart when it comes to finances and knows about investments and such. He is in an investment club with several of the guys from church. We have a budget book and write down every penny we spend. We pay cash for our cars. We buy only used ones, but in good shape. We do use credit cards (I know Dave Ramsey says you shouldn't). We pay them off each month. Never put anything on the card that isn't in the budget. Never put anything on a card that we don't have the money to pay for it. NEVER not pay the bill in full. So we get cash back. Lots. Sometimes as much as 5% back at some stores. And Al gives it to me for fun money! Isn't he sweet?? I know some people don't like to use credit cards. Some people use an envelope system. We used to. We pinched every penny. I used to have to take the calculator to the grocery store to make sure I didn't overspend. It is nice to not have to worry so much about that any more. But we never know the future and what might happen so we can't take that for granted. But that's why it is important to have that emergency fund.

One thing I have really appreciated is that every January, Al writes down everything I need to know in case he would pass away. His 2 grandfathers and uncle died very young - in their 50's - so we know that could always happen. Al takes such good care of me and of course, I surely do hope he lives to a ripe old age, like his father.

True satisfaction comes not from stuff. It comes from the Lord.

"Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare." from Isaiah 55

"I said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing." from Psalm 16


This advise from Hannah (age 4): If we want to save money, we should go to Walmart. Save money. Live better. Walmart.

*Trifle:
Bake a brownie mix. Cool and break apart into about 1" squares.
Put half the brownies into trifle bowl.
Add some Cool whip.
Add some cappucino pudding (I make a vanilla pudding mix and add some instant coffee mixed into the milk to make it)
Add cut up strawberries.
Layer it all over again.
Top with hard shell chocolate ice-cream topping.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Visitors

A couple of "ladies" came to visit this evening. They found a sack of balloons in a drawer.


* * * * * * *

Old McDonald Had a Farm - doo doo doo


video

Come again, "ladies"! Always lots of fun!